Here’s an obscure Sankor coming straight from Japan. How does such a good lens stay hidden for so long? Are they just that rare?
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Tito Ferradans here with what seems to be the last of my pending reviews using JSD’s gear – and if you follow his posts on facebook you know this guy has a lot going on when it comes to anamorphic. So I hope he shows up here soon again. Today we’re talking about the Sankor Type-5e, an exotic projection lens with almost no information going around.
The footage coming out of this lens reminds me a lot of the Isco Ultra Star, it’s quite sharp, has a pronounced 2x bokeh and it’s coming from a golden-looking lens. The biggest difference I could spot was how this Sankor handled flares – or failed to. Direct sun hits flooded the frame with white and when I could get it just right, an interesting green streak would show up. I used the HCDNA for these shots, because no one has the time for double focusing anymore.
I tried finding good sources of info on this lens and failed, so everything that shows here is pretty fresh. JSD found this lens in his favorite Japanese auction site and got two of them. It’s a compact adapter, feels slightly shorter than the Ultra Star and weighs 580g, almost 1.5lb. It’s a 2x stretch projection lens, which implies double focus. The focus ring is smooth and it comes down to 1.5m over 240 degrees of throw. There’s also a handy focus-locking screw, for setting it to infinity and coupling to a single focus solution.
There are no front or rear threads, so you’ll need clamps for attaching filters and connecting to a taking lens. Due to the size and weight, I recommend using rails on this one – or almost any projection lens, for that matter. You have seen this lens before when I made a tutorial on making your own 3d-printed front clamps.
In terms of pricing I couldn’t find any info on it. Some eBay listings, but very low key, sell at $300. This exact one sold for $400, and considering how prices are going, as well as its performance, I’d expect them to go for something in the 450-600 range.
Image quality is outstanding, even in the corner areas, performing well at fast apertures and any focal length, which makes me think even more of the Isco Ultra Star. It displays a sensible improvement when stopped from 1.4 to f/2.8 and I don’t think you can get much sharper past that point, it might even be a taking lens limitation!
Flares are nice and green. I think this is my first green-flaring lens ever. There’s a fair amount of blooming around light sources, which is not great, but I’d take these flares over the non-existing flares of the Ultra Star any day.
Vignetting was interesting, like a Kowa chart. We have a bit too much at 40mm but Almost clears full frame at 50mm, definitely clears 2.4:1, which is a rare trait for projection lenses. Then all clear at 85mm. The big glass and short body certainly helped here.
This scope has a lot of impressive results: nice flares, great image quality, can go pretty wide for a 2x adapter. Too bad it’s almost impossible to find! The world could benefit from more of those floating around. This time I’m not putting down a double focus projection scope. See, I’m a fair person. Good scopes get good reviews.
What did you think of the results? Are you as impressed as I am? Let me know in the comments below! Before you go please hit the like button and don’t forget to subscribe so you get a new anamorphic video next Sunday! I’m Tito Ferradans and I’ll see you then!